Crossover

Audi's First EV Will be Direct Challenger to Tesla Model X

But it won't be ready until 2017.

In the very near future, Tesla won’t be the only automaker that’ll be selling a pure electric crossover. Audi will be entering the game as well. According to a recent interview with Bloomberg, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler confirmed that his "engineers are working" on an electric car that will meet all US regulations for zero-emissions, and that it’ll be a crossover. Previous reports predicted Audi was more inclined to build a direct rival to the Model S sedan, but apparently there’s been a change of course.

Looking purely at market trends and sales numbers, Audi has come to the conclusion that crossovers will continue to be popular in the US as well as China. Interestingly, Audi wasn’t the first German luxury automaker to launch an EV, despite its past R&D efforts. BMW launched the i3 last year and Audi, in the meantime, will soon begin deliveries of its A3 E-Tron plug-in hybrid as well as a battery-powered version of the R8. Its upcoming crossover will very likely be an EV only, with no gasoline or hybrid version to be offered. But Tesla will still have a two-year head start in the EV crossover market. The Model X will go on sale next year while Audi’s competitor won’t be ready until 2017 at the earliest.

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